The heat is coming quickly and it's time to start thinking about how our pets are coping.
Our pets are super susceptible to heatstroke. They can't sweat all over like humans do and they only produce a tiny amount of sweat through their footpads. The only way they can attempt to cool themselves down is through panting.
Heatstroke (also known as heat exhaustion or heat stress) can be very dangerous and even fatal. It doesn't necessarily need to be really hot or humid for heat exhaustion to occur so it’s important to be able to recognise the signs and know what to do.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR:
- Excessive panting
- Exaggerated and noisy panting
- Weakness or collapse
If you notice any of these signs then it is time to act quickly. Contact your vet for more information. They will ask you to go in immediately if they have concerns. It is best to place your pet in front of the air conditioner or a fan while you are in the car. You can also place wet towels on hairless parts of the body (footpads and groins).
TIPS TO PREVENT HEATSTROKE:
- Don't leave your pet in the car - the internal temperature of a car can become like an oven in minutes (even on a mild day).
- Avoid exercising your pet in the heat of the day.
- Provide plenty of shade and fresh water.
- Consider clipping your pet's coat to help them stay cool.
- Brushing your pet's coat regularly will prevent matting and knotting, creating a cooler, lighter coat.
If you are ever concerned about your pet in the heat you should always contact your local veterinarian for the best advice.
DISCLAIMER: The advice given in this article is of a general nature. Pet Guardians Australia recommends a health check with your local vet at least once a year for advice pertaining to your pet's individual circumstances.